Health authorities in Queensland say a woman, and maybe others, could unknowingly have contracted deadly lyssavirus after touching an infected flying fox.
Health authorities in Queensland are looking for a person they believe could have contracted deadly lyssavirus after handling an infected flying fox.
Metro South Public Health physician Brad McCall said a young man was receiving vaccinations after being scratched by the animal when he picked it up near the Sharks Sports Club at Victoria Point, in Brisbane’s east, on Friday.
The flying fox has since tested positive to lyssavirus.
Dr McCall said doctors learned on Tuesday morning at least one other person might have touched the infected bat.
“We are seeking to contact the second person, possibly a woman, who also sought to assist the bat by providing a blanket,” he said in a statement.
“We ask that she seek urgent medical assessment from her local GP or hospital immediately.”
Dr McCall said immediate treatment after a scratch or bite could prevent being infected by the usually lethal disease.
Three people have died from exposure to Australian bat lyssavirus (ABL) since 1996, he said.
“More than 100 cases of potential exposure to ABL are reported each year, and usually relate to people being scratched or bitten by bats, often when they attempt to handle the bat,” he said.
“Usually bats do not approach humans, more commonly bat scratches or bites occur if someone is trying to rescue an injured, sick or distressed bat.”